Mikel Merino is the big prize this summer for Athletic Club. The Spain U21 midfielder is unhappy with life at Borussia Dortmund and wants to return to his home country. The Lions have been in pursuit for over a year now, but they are edging closer and closer with each passing day. Working out a deal with the Germans still has to be accomplished, but the Basques have all but finalized personal terms with the 20-year-old.
According to a report from Hector Gomez of Plaza Deportiva, Athletic Club are in advanced negotiations with Mikel Merino who has decided that a move to the San Mames is his favored destination should he be allowed to leave Germany. Merino has been working with Athletic on personal terms and it is believed that the only thing that remains is BVB’s accepting of Athletic’s offer.
The only thing holding back the transfer at the moment is the coaching situation at Borussia Dortmund. Merino had informed Thomas Tuchel that he wanted to leave, but the manager was sacked a few weeks ago and replaced by Peter Bosz. The Germans want to wait for Merino to return from Spain U21 duty and sit down with him to decide whether or not he is part of Bosz’s plans moving forward. If not, Athletic Club will be given the green light to sign the midfielder.
For Merino, the most important thing is playing time and the chance to complete and continuing improving. Athletic are ready to promise him regular minutes and the ability to challenge for a starting role in the near future. Those close to the situation have stated that Athletic is by far Merino’s favored move because of that reason and a few others. Clubs like Valencia and Real Sociedad are also said to be interested in the 20-year-old, but their representatives have been made aware that it is his desire to move to the San Mames above all else.